As a student, a valuable aspect of learning that often gets overlooked is the importance of being your own teacher. After years spent in education, you should hopefully have a grasp on your interests and motivations when learning. Your likes and dislikes. This understanding of yourself and your own strengths are key to being an effective learner.
But how do we get to the point where we can say we are good at learning?
Primarily, we need to understand what learning actually is and how it differs from studying or purely trying to memorise information and why it is better. Learning is the gaining of knowledge through experience, being taught or through practice. Whereas studying is largely focused on reading and the memorising of facts. One of these two definitions is much more stimulating than the other.
Simply, being good at learning is to enjoy learning and to be productive with it. A great concept that can help us to understand what that means and how you should get to the point where you are caught in the cycle of enjoying learning is the Thinking CAP. In this circumstance, CAP stands for curious, active and purposeful. Let’s take a deeper look at these 3 words and how each of them can help you to become more effective when learning.
Firstly, how important is it to be curious when learning? The more interesting the subject, the easier it is to learn about. Think of how much information is stored in your brain about the characters and storylines of your favourite tv show. The emotional response sparked by researching or learning about topics you enjoy, is the reason why we can retain so much information about these things.
Being passionate about a subject whilst learning will lead to the information having a deeper impact on you, making it easier to draw back on when trying to recall it. Follow your interests and make the way you learn interesting and fulfilling. Be curious and take action to find out the answers to your wonderings. The answers to these questions will bring up more questions and you will be encapsulated in that cycle of enjoying learning. To apply this to revision we need to make the things you need to learn interesting. Whether that entails making up games or being tested by friends on your knowledge, learning does not have to just be sitting down and staring at the page of a book.
This leads us nicely on to the active aspect of the thinking CAP. If we just hear a bit of information once from our teacher, we are quite unlikely to retain it in our brains. If we see something once, say if we look at a fact in a revision guide, we are still relatively unlikely to remember it over a period of time. However, if we have to be active or more specifically, if we teach the bits of information that we have learnt, we will almost definitely remember it in some capacity as we must understand it properly. Sharing what you have learnt with friends or creating revision groups where you each produce a presentation on a subject you have learnt about can be really effective methods in keeping you active and motivated in your learning.
Finally, be purposeful in your learning. Rather than expecting your brain to automatically retain the information it hears, try to learn and be aware of what that is. If you know you are learning and what you are learning you will learn more and learn better. Providing goals for yourself whilst learning can be a useful tool to keep you on track and to feel like the progress you are making has a purpose.
Every step you take in learning and revision is progress. You will face challenges but the most important thing is to learn from them. Discover gaps in your knowledge and fill them and ultimately become a more rounded person.
Jake Evans is a recent graduate from The University of Derby with a BA in Film and Television Studies with Media and Communication Studies. He used his time at University to uncover and learn how his skills could be used throughout the media industry. As an enthusiastic writer, Jake also began producing film reviews that were published on a local movie website while completing his course, combining his passion for film and his writing aspirations.
This section will not be visible in live published website. Below are your current settings:
Current Number Of Columns are = 1
Expand Posts Area =
Gap/Space Between Posts = 15px
Blog Post Style = card
Use of custom card colors instead of default colors =
Blog Post Card Background Color = current color
Blog Post Card Shadow Color = current color
Blog Post Card Border Color = current color
Publish the website and visit your blog page to see the results
We're always interested to hear from talented young writers, so if you'd like to feature as a guest author then hit us up for more details.